25 Days Itinerary Covering : Delhi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Khajuraho - Bhopal - Sanchi - Indore - Mandu - Dhar - Aurangabad - Mumbai
Guests in India always look for opportunities to extend their trip in the country, and why not? After all, the country has so much to offer to its visitors that one in fact is left wanting for more after one has undertaken shorter trips. So, in case you have been thinking on the same lines, why don't you opt for our extended trips that will enable you a better glimpse of the spirit of the country?
Your arrival in the city of Delhi marks the beginning of your Discover India tour. Our representative will meet you at the airport/ railway station and escort you till the hotel where a room has been pre booked for you and your stay been arranged for.
Early next morning begin the tour of the city and let the starting point be Old Delhi. The Old world charm of Old Delhi still manages to fascinate the onlookers. Narrow 'gallis' or lanes, shops filled with a variety of articles and variety of buyers, and devotees making beelines to visit the temples, mosques, gurudwaras… the sights and sounds of Old Delhi have to be seen to be believed. Jama Masjid, Red Fort, and Rajghat are the prime locations here that are surely not to be missed. Over and above all, the heart of Old Delhi – Chandni Chowk with its ethereal charm tops the list of destinations in this area that are to be visited.
Post a tryst with Old Delhi, travel towards the New Delhi area that will completely take you by surprise! The narrow lanes of Old Delhi gives way to the broad avenues with skyscrapers, modern shopping plazas with bars as lovely as you'd find at Britannia Bournemouth, and a fleet of public buildings dating back to the British era; all vying for your attention. While here, visit the Rashtrapati Bhawan (residence of the President), India Gate, Laxmi Narayan temple, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple, Qutab Minar, and also the Red Fort. All these attractions will give you a clear impression of what the essence of the city is all about. The light and sound show in the Red Fort in the evening will take you back memory lane and leave you wanting for more…
On the 3rd day of the tour, move out of Delhi and into the city of lakes – Udaipur. You will travel by air till Udaipur as it is almost 700 km from here. On arrival in Udaipur, you will be greeted by our agent who will assist you to check in to the hotel where you could rest for a few hours before you visit the shores of the lake Pichola to watch the sunset. A boat ride at the lake will complete the experience in a big way and the ambience will be set for a quiet dinner at the Lake Palace hotel, set amidst the lake.
Post a hearty breakfast you are ready to explore the alleys of Udaipur, replete with tales of valiant rulers and brave noblemen. Specimens of artistic works still stand tall throughout the city that very well exhibit the rich taste of the rulers under whose patronage they were created and the talent of the artists who painstakingly created them. A few names to list in the order are: City Palace Complex, Saheliyon ki Bari, and the Jagdish Temple. To take a look at the ways of life of the people here, visit the Lok Kala Mandal and Shilpgram. Both the places house excellent collections of paintings, arts and crafts, masks, costumes and puppets and a host of other items that will enable you a glimpse of what the place is actually like. Puppet shows and musical evenings that are specially organized for guests will enhance the pleasures all the more. A quick excursion to the Eklingji and Nagda temples can also be conducted from here.
On the 5th day of the tour, the trail heads towards Jodhpur. Known as the 'Blue City of India', Jodhpur is another fascinating town, resounding with tales of its valiant past and also housing magnificent monuments that are grand architectural masterpieces. Enroute from Udaipur to Jodhpur, you will be taken to visit the famous Jain temple housed in the sleepy town of Ranakpur. The temple complex houses a number of smaller shrines and the entire surrounding coupled with lush greenery on all sides, make the experience heavenly. By late afternoon you will reach Jodhpur. Check in to the hotel and refresh yourself and in the evening you could visit the impressive Umaid Bhawan Palace. Partly converted into a heritage hotel, the Umaid Bhawan still houses the royal family of Jodhpur. The next destination that you will be taken to is the Balsamand Palace that overlooks the Balsamand Lake. To complete the day, dine in style! The place that is waiting to play your perfect host captures the heritage of the city to beautifully reflect through its ambience. 'On the Rocks' housed within the Ajit Bhawan is the place to be in … and yes, do make sure to take delight in the cultural performance that is specifically organized for guests in the evenings.
The remaining attractions of the city can be visited on the 6th day. A visit to the Mehrangarh fort, Jaswant Thada, and the Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, and you are now ready to move out of Jodhpur. The next destination that you will head to is Jaisalmer, but not before stopping at Osian Village to explore its fortified ruins. Other than the ruins, Osian also houses a number of ancient temples, mostly known for its wonderful carvings. Devotees mostly visit the Sun temple and the Kali temple (both Hindu temples) and the lord Mahavira temple (Jain temple). By evening you will arrive at Jaisalmer where you will stay overnight. A quick visit to the city market after you have checked in to the hotel will be a good idea to spend the evening!
Post breakfast, visit the Tricuta hill where the massive Jaisalmer Fort is located. Jaisalmer has forever been a patron city encouraging artists and craftsmen to come and flourish in its bosom. And it is the meticulous work of these endowed artists that are still standing tall across the city that people from all over the world come to relish on. Examples of this can be seen through the intricate carvings and designing in the Patwon ki Haveli, Salim Singh ki Haveli and across the temples located here. The stone carving and lattice works done in the mansions of Jaisalmer and the beautiful 'Jharokhas' will simply take your breath away.
A trip to the Gadisar Lake and the Sam sand dunes are scheduled for the next half of the day. Camel safari in the sand dunes is definitely the highlight that will take you through the desert and the lives of the natives staying there. Enroute the sand dunes you will also be taken to the medieval temples of Lodurwa, Mool Sagar and Amar Sagar. If you were fascinated by the dunes so much so that you want to stay back here, you could opt to stay in the luxury tents available here for an experience of a lifetime, else you could travel back to Jaisalmer for an overnight stay in the hotel.
Early morning after breakfast you will now checkout from the hotel and embark on your journey to. Bikaner is about a 7 hours drive from here and therefore you stop over at Pokhran for sightseeing before you arrive in Bikaner late in the evening. The few attractions that you could visit in Pokhran include the Pokhran Fort and the Pokhran Museum. Within the fort are housed a number of smaller palaces like the Rani Niwas, Mangal Niwas and the Phool Niwas that are beautiful examples of architecture. The museum gives one a wonderful insight into the life of the royal family members of the region through the colorful costumes, their arts and artifacts and even paintings of the members. By evening you will reach Bikaner where you will check into a hotel and stay there overnight.
Bikaner is another historical city in Rajasthan that is full with medieval forts and palaces and ancient temples that are of great reverence. The Junagadh fort, the Deshnok temple, and the Bhand Sagar temple; each of these places enable you to enjoy a glimpse of the city – both of its past and the present. While the fort is popular for its bastions and grandeur, the deshnok temple is famous for its rats! Yes, over a million members of this rodent family live here and are held in very high esteem.
After you have travelled around Bikaner, it is now time for you to move on towards the state capital, Jaipur. On the way, a brief stopover at Mandwa to visit the age-old mansions will complete your trip to this part of the country.
After a good nights' stay in one of the premium hotels in Jaipur, you will be refreshed and rejuvenated enough to begin on an early morning sightseeing trail across the city. You can begin your sojourn with the Amer Fort, a grand structure standing tall just outside the city gates. A leisurely trip across the fort will take almost the first half of the day. Therefore, post lunch you could visit the sites within the Jaipur city including the City Palace, the Jantar Mantar, the Hawa Mahal and the Central Museum. Built by various rulers who ruled over Jaipur, each of these attractions tell a number of tales about its architecture, its designing, and the people who once graced them on various occasions. Evening of the tenth day could be reserved for visiting the famed Birla Mandir and the colorful local markets. While the former is a place of great reverence for tourists and locals alike, the latter could be visited to pick up souvenirs to carry back home. If the rural ambience of Rajasthan is still lingering on in your mind, opt to dine in 'Chokhi Dhani' a unique themed restaurant serving lip-smacking Rajasthani cuisine.
The eleventh day marks the end of the trip across Rajasthan as you will very soon enter into the next Indian state. Agra, a city in Uttar Pradesh is the next destination in line that is most popularly known for housing the majestic Taj Mahal. As the journey from Jaipur to Agra takes about 5 hours, you will stop midway at Fatehpur Sikri to travel around the once Mughal capital. The foremost areas to visit while here are the Buland Darwaza, the tomb of Salim Chisti, Panch Mahal, and the Diwan – e – Khas. Once you have visited these places, proceed towards Agra which is now just a few km away. On arriving in Agra, our agent will assist you to check into the hotel where you could rest for a while and then commence your exploration of the Agra city. Begin with the Agra Fort, a massive fort built in red sandstone. This world heritage site is a 15th century fort that was initiated by the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Explore the fort till evening and on return from here, head towards the market which is by now lit and adorned as a bride. Pick up local handicraft items like inlay design items and the sweet dish 'petha'.
Early morning head towards the grand Taj Mahal. A fine example of Hindu, Persian, Islamic and Mughal architectural styles, the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in the loving memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The morning rays of the sun bathe the Taj Mahal every day, making it appear all the more beautiful with each passing day. After the Taj, head towards Itmad-ud-Daulah and the Pearl mosque. Both these monuments are great specimens of Mughal art and architecture. The next destination in line is Sikandra that houses the tomb of the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Once you have toured through Agra and its neighboring areas, proceed towards Delhi as now the next leg of the Discover India tour waits to unfold before you.
An early morning flight from Delhi to Varanasi will land you in the city of 'Ghats'. An ancient city of great reverence especially for the Hindus, Varanasi also attracts people belonging to the other faiths, all in the same breath. However, before you embark on a journey across Varanasi, get set on an excursion to the nearby town of Sarnath. Sarnath is most popular for its Buddhist 'stupas' and monasteries and it also houses the Ashokan Pillar with the 4 lion heads. Once you return from Sarnath, you could embark on your voyage across the holy city of Benares, the ancient name for Varanasi. The various temples and bathing shores 'ghats' of the Ganges remain full all throughout the day with devotees coming here from all over the world. The Durga temple and the Golden temple are the foremost places to be visited, while here. In the evening you can visit the colorful markets of Varanasi and ready yourself to travel to Khajuraho, the medieval city located in Madhya Pradesh.
However, before you leave for the airport to catch the morning flight to Khajuraho, taking a boat ride across the Ganga would not be a bad idea. The early morning rush at the 'ghats' and the number of devotees taking a dip in the holy water of the Ganga will more than surprise you at the very first glance.
Once you reach Khajuraho, our representative will help you check in to the pre booked hotel where you will stay overnight. You are free for the rest of the day and can travel around the town and capture the first impressions of the once sleepy village.
The fifteenth day of the Discover India tour will enable you a glimpse of what traditional India was all about. Khajuraho is famous for its ancient temples with intricate carvings adorning its walls and ceilings. Erotic figurines depicting various moments of love and passion have been beautifully depicted through the carvings on the rock-cut temples. The temples have been segregated into the eastern and the western group of temples and each group hold equal significance and reverence in the hearts of the devotees and onlookers. The Hindu and the Jain temples of Khajuraho have been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Once you have explored through Khajuraho, you will be driven to Satna from where you will board the night train to Bhopal.
Bhopal is the capital of Madhya Pradesh and is a fantastic base for guests traveling up to Sanchi, renowned for its Buddhist shrines 'stupas' and monasteries. Located at a distance of about 50 km from Bhopal, the excursion to Sanchi will be an interesting one as a brief halt in the hotel in Bhopal will have you completely refreshed. Late in the afternoon, return to Bhopal and visit the National Archives before you finally retire for the day.
The remaining attractions of Bhopal can be visited on the seventeenth day. The list includes Fatehgarh Fort, Sadar Manzil, Vidhan Sabha, Secretariat, and the mosques - Moti Masjid and Taj-ul-Masjid. Post lunch; be ready to travel to Indore, your next destination in the Discover India tour. Reach Indore by evening and surrender yourself to the cozy comforts of the hotel room here.
While traveling from Indore to Dhar you will travel through a wonderful hill top fort, Mandu. Known for its palaces and royal pavilions, the alleys of Mandu still resound with tales of the erstwhile kings and queens who once ruled over here. People still believe that on special occasions, ghosts of the kings and queens are still seen in the pavilions of the fort!
Post touring around Mandu, proceed towards Dhar, the final destination in this circuit. On reaching check into the hotel and spend the rest of the day in leisure.
Dhar is popular for Bagh that houses Buddhist caves, which date back to the Gupta period. Like the caves of Ajanta, the caves in Bagh also display wonderful varieties of cave paintings dating back to the era. The twin towns of Omkareshwar and Maheshwar are located just a few km away from here and offer for a spectacular excursion option for guests traveling around Dhar. Both the towns are known for the religious sites that are housed in them besides of course the 'ghats' of the Narmada River that are considered very sacred by all Hindus.
On the twentieth day of the Discover India tour, you have a lot to travel. After all, Dhar being the last destination in Madhya Pradesh, in this tour, you will now advance towards Maharashtra for the final leg of the tour. No discover India tour could be complete without visiting the enchanting alleys of Aurangabad and not of course without visiting the Ajanta and Ellora caves. Therefore that is what we have planned for you next. The drive from Dhar to Aurangabad will take you almost 8 hours, leaving no time for any sightseeing to do. Therefore on reaching Aurangabad check into the hotel and spend some time in leisure and refresh yourself.
Post an early morning breakfast, get set on an excursion to the Ajanta caves, located 105 km from here. Located amidst the Shahyadri hills, Ajanta caves are mostly known for its magnificent caves and the spectacular paintings, part of which have been lost to time. Marvel in awe at the imagination and artistic talents of the artisans of those times before you move out to explore the grand beauty of the Ellora caves. The Ellora caves too have been recognized as World Heritage Site like the Ajanta caves and houses about 34 monasteries and temples belonging to the different faiths like Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. The Kailash temple located here is a fine specimen of intricate carving. The carvings on the giant monolith are just unbelievable…
Post breakfast you will checkout from the hotel and drive down to the Airport to catch the early morning flight to Mumbai. Our representative will greet you at the Mumbai Airport and escort you to the hotel where you will check in and refresh yourself. Once you are rejuvenated, you can now explore Mumbai city. Begin with the Iskcon temple, and then move on to the dazzling shopping plazas for shopping some really interesting stuff across various global brands. You could also visit the famous Mahalaxmi temple and the Marine drive especially to be visited in the evening for its lights. No wonder, it is widely popular as the Queen's necklace.
Mumbai has a lot to offer and what could be a better way to explore its attractions than to embark on a quick excursion to its nearby areas? Visit the Gateway of India located in south Mumbai on the waterfront of the Apollo Bunder. Built by the British to honor the arrival of King George V and Queen Mary in India, the Gateway attracts large number of tourists every day. This place is also a wonderful base to start an excursion to the Elephanta Caves located on the Elephanta Island. Replete with exotic sculptures, this place is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On returning from here, you could now visit the various attractions scattered across the Mumbai city including the Prince of Wales Museum, Parliament House, Marine Drive and the Hanging Gardens.
Post breakfast you could take a short trip across the city of Mumbai to capture the last memories of the city before you finally arrive at the Airport to catch the flight home. A long and eventful sojourn of discovering India finally comes to an end.
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